CANBERRA (Reuters) – Emotions are always high when Iran and Iraq meet on the football pitch. The political history between the two Middle Eastern neighbours always provides both teams with added motivation.
On Friday, the rivals will clash in the quarter-finals of the Asian Cup in Canberra and the stakes could not be higher but bragging rights are only part of the equation.
CANBERRA (Reuters) – Palestine bowed out of their first Asian Cup on Tuesday, determined to learn from the experience of competing with the continent’s elite, but also pleading for a level-playing field in which to do so.
The outsiders made seven changes and produced a gutsy performance in a 2-0 Group D defeat by Iraq in Canberra on Tuesday, their best showing after a 4-0 loss to holders Japan in their opener and 5-1 thrashing by Jordan.
CANBERRA (Reuters) – Ali Ahmed Mabkhout needed just 14 seconds to put the United Arab Emirates ahead as they went on to beat Bahrain 2-1 on Thursday and secure a rare Asian Cup quarter-finals appearance.
With the Group C encounter meandering towards a 1-1 draw, Bahraini captain Mohamed Hasan deflected a 73rd minute free-kick from Amer Abdulrahman into his own net to hand the UAE a second Gulf derby victory in Canberra following their opening 4-1 win over Qatar.
CANBERRA (Reuters) – A “lucky” win over Kuwait failed to lift the spirits of South Korea coach Uli Stielike, who said his out-of-form and injury-hit team should no longer be considered Asian Cup title contenders.
Nam Tae-hee headed a 36th minute winner against Kuwait at a wet Canberra Stadium to book a quarter-final berth after making it two wins from two in Group A but the German saw little to celebrate in another disjointed display.
CANBERRA (Reuters) – South Korea coach Uli Stielike made seven changes to his starting lineup for Tuesday’s match with Kuwait where victory would make his side the first through to the Asian Cup quarter-finals.
Injury ruled out five of the side that beat Oman, with the attacking trio of Son Heung-min (fever), Koo Ja-cheol and Lee Chung-yong (shin) among those unavailable for the Group A match in Canberra.
CANBERRA (Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates gladly made the most of a woeful performance from Qatari goalkeeper Qasem Burhan to rout the Gulf Cup winners 4-1 in their Asian Cup opener on Sunday.
The experienced custodian was at fault for two of the UAE’s goals and will have felt he could have done better with the third as the UAE stormed back from a goal down to open Group C with three well-deserved points.
CANBERRA (Reuters) – South Korea coach Uli Stielike never had any intention of dropping former skipper Koo Ja-cheol for the Asian Cup and the Mainz 05 midfielder rewarded the show of faith in Saturday’s opening win.
Koo was named man of the match as the Koreans downed a defensive Oman 1-0 in Canberra to begin their bid for a first Asian Cup title in 55 years.
CANBERRA (Reuters) – South Korea kicked off their bid for a first Asian Cup title in 55 years with a 1-0 win over Oman in their Group A opener on Saturday, but the victory came at a cost with injuries to key players.
Cho Young-cheol scored his first goal for his country in first half stoppage time as Ki Seung-yeung began his reign as skipper with a win, but fullback Kim Chang-soo limped off in the first half and attacker Lee Chung-yong in the second to mar the victory.
CANBERRA (Reuters) – South Korea promised early attacking endeavour as they opted for an offensive line-up in an attempt to blow away Group A challengers Oman in their Asian Cup opener in Canberra on Saturday.
The side, skippered by the driving force of Ki Seung-yeung in the centre of midfield, featured the European-based creative talents of Son Heung-min, Koo Ja-cheol and Lee Chung-yong behind Qatari-based striker Cho Young-cheol.
By Tim Wimborne
It’s now widely accepted that the latest war in Afghanistan has not gone well. As an intermittent visitor here over the past 10 years, several differences are visible to my western eyes, but I keep realising how much there still is in common with the Kabul of a decade ago.
I had not long been on staff at Reuters when I was given my first assignment in Afghanistan. That was the spring of 2004. Back then, there were perhaps more people of foot in the city and fewer cars. There were certainly not as many cell phones and Internet cafes as there are today.